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Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana is a graduate from Denison College, OH, and Pembroke University, Oxford England. Shortly after receiving his second BA and a MA from Pembroke he volunteered for the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960. Before starting his political career, Lugar helped his brother manage the family’s food machinery manufacturing business, in Indianapolis.
Richard Lugar began his political career in 1967 when he served on the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners, until 1967 when he was elected mayor of the city of Indianapolis He has since then held positions on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations . He currently serves as U.S. Senator for Indiana.
When asked “What will you do for Atheist Voter?” Senator Lugar replied:
Dear Mr. (Beep)
Thank you for contacting me concerning the rights of atheists. I appreciate this opportunity to respond.
As you know, the religion clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution provide that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The Supreme Court has frequently construed these clauses to create a wall of separation between church and state.
There has been an ongoing debate both in the courts and in Congress over the proper relationship between government and religion. Since 1980, the Supreme Court has handed down more than 50 decisions on matters of church and state. And, in many of these decisions, the Court has been sharply split, with justices arguing their contrary viewpoints with vigor.
Congress has previously tried to address religious freedom within the context of the Constitution. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) stated the view that religious freedoms must not be infringed. The Supreme Court struck down the RFRA, ruling that it breached the separation of powers between the federal government’s legislative and judicial branches. The Court also held that the law usurped power from the states.
Despite the ruling of the Court, I believe that Congress can pass legislation that protects religious freedom within the context of the Constitution.
Again, thank you for contacting me.
Richard G. Lugar
United States Senator
Check out Senator Richard Lugar on Vote Smart
National Athiest Party